Children’s choir needs help getting to 2015 Holland trip

Next spring, a group of children from Victoria hope to honour the past with the power of song.

The Victoria Children’s Choir is hoping to go to Holland for a two week choral tour honouring the country’s historic bond with Canada, but only if they can raise enough funds to cover travel expenses.

While the trip is still months away, Boudewyn van Oort, Board President of the West Coast Children’s Choral Society, of which the Victoria Children’s Choir is a part of, says fundraising must begin early due to the high costs involved. Based on airfare, accommodations, food, and other expenses, he estimates the cost of each child, staff member, and chaperone at roughly $4,000.

While it would be difficult to cover the entire cost of the trip through fundraising for about 35 singers in both group’s junior and senior choir, van Oort says the goal is to help ease the cost for the families.

“It’s a lot of money, but trips like this are always worth the experience for the kids,” he says. “Obviously it’s much too much for the families to raise by themselves, but we’ve been doing all we can with bottle-drives and chocolate sales.”

The plan is to have the children perform during the nation’s “Liberation Day” celebrations in May 2015 in Amsterdam.

“When Canada led the liberation efforts in Holland, it created a bond between the two countries that is still very much honoured today. We wanted to do something ourselves to pay our respects to that bond,” says van Oort. “We’ve made such trips before, like our trip to Austria in 2011, and we thought this would be perfect opportunity to teach the children about the world and show the Dutch people their talent.”

The group received an invitation to take part in a formal Remembrance Ceremony at the Canadian War Graves Site in Holderberg, during which the choir’s children will help the local children lay flowers on the graves.

“There are about 1,400 Canadians buried there, and the people in the nearby town have taken extraordinary interest in the site,” he says. “This ceremony is just one way the Dutch pay respect to the Canadians who liberated them. Showing the kids of our choir that bond is very important to us.”

To help the Victoria Children’s Choir make it to Holland, you can donate at

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